Apple executive e-mail explains new iPod's missing light sensor

A purported e-mail exchange between a customer and Apple's marketing chief explains why the company's latest iPod Touch can't see the light.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
Apple's latest iPod Touch.
Apple's latest iPod Touch. Apple

For those wondering why Apple did not include an ambient light sensor in its latest iPod Touch, a purported e-mail exchange between a top executive and a customer -- ahem -- shines some light on the subject.

Apple news site iDownloadBlog posts what it says is a back and forth between Apple Marketing Chief Phil Schiller and a customer talking about the lack of a sensor in Apple's recently released fifth-generation iPod model.

According to Schiller's message, which remains unconfirmed, the device is "just too thin" to fit one:

The purported e-mail exchange.
The purported e-mail exchange. Rahig Harake

The ambient light sensor does just what the name suggests, scanning for ambient light and adjusting screen brightness based on conditions. It's been around in previous models, and helps mainly when going between light and dark areas. The feature can be turned off from iOS' settings menu, though is not present in the new iPod models since there is no sensor.

Apple's fifth-generation iPod Touch debuted alongside the iPhone 5 at Apple's event last month. According to Apple the device is 6.1 mm thick, though its camera model juts out slightly from the main body. That's as opposed to the fourth-generation model's 7.2 mm thickness.

CNET has contacted Apple about the legitimacy of the e-mail exchange, though the company has a history of not confirming executive e-mails. Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would frequently correspond with customers over e-mail, something that current CEO Tim Cook does as well.

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